January 2, 1945. Happy New Year. Anna writes to her brothers, apologizing that “These holidays have held up my letter production.” She types a five page letter to bring her brothers up to speed on what has been going on in Albany at Christmastime.
Like many holidays it included “all the good things to eat” and “several invitations to dinner to cousins and Eddie’s side of the family.” They had their traditional Polish Wigilia and the Christmas feast. “Eddie managed to get a delicious smoked ham about ten pounds without stamps …I made pigs feet jelly and made chicken soup and roasted the chicken and Polish kielbasy and other trimmings that went with it.”
The guys at Eddie’s work had a party. “The men who work for him gave him a warm canvas sort of of jacket with a wool plaid checked lining inside with a hood and they also gave him a whip which he mounted in the shop. The boss told him it was an honor to get that because it meant that he was always on the job. …the boss gave Eddie a hundred dollar bond and a hundred dollars in cash. Well, all in all it was a pretty good present…”
Christmas Eve was spent visiting mama and pop upstairs. Anna and Eddie “took up a hassock for daddy and a pretty blue chenille bed spread for mama.” After a nap mama and pop went to Midnight Mass. Eddie and Anna went to High Mass on Christmas Day. The weather on Christmas day was “sloppy all day” with snow in the morning that turned to rain, then back to snow on Christmas night until they had “about a foot of it” on the morning of the 26th. On Christmas Day they went “to Eddie’s cousin Olga’s house for dinner” where they had “roasted turkey and duck with all the trimmings and…ate like pigs.”
As you would expect, they had a tree that was “really beautiful…about five feet tall.” It was decorated complete with “an angel on the top” and “those big lights” the ornaments that they used in previous years and tinsel. Of course, like all good things they must come to an end and when Eddie started to take the tree down “Terry started to cry so hard that he stopped and we had to wait until she went to bed.”
Anna notes that “Santa Claus was very good to us … and we all got loads of presents.” As you might expect, little Terry was the primary beneficiary with gifts including “fuzzy wuzzy slippers”, “a blackboard and a few toys”, “four pairs of …silk bloomers”, “a beautiful doll with real nice hair and lashes on her eyes…also she got the rocking horse which Grandpapa Lubinski made for her…” She also received “a little table with cooking utensils like knives and forks and egg beaters and little bowls and pans so that she can help make a mess in the kitchen when I cook.”
Anna got “a pair of bright red pajamas”, “chair sets, you know for the arms and back of the chair”, a glass centerpiece/candleholder, and “a big clock which we have on the mantel piece in the front room and it has chimes in it and it bongs every hour. Terry loves to hear it go ding dong and she calls it Ding Dong.” Meanwhile, Eddie received “two shirts”, “half a dozen hankies with his initials on them”, ”a fancy tie” and, “a wallet from Mr Harris who drives in Eddie’s car to Troy.”
In other news from the home front, Anna relays that their cousin Eddie and his wife Rose will be having a baby. Anna knew about it a few months ago, but Rose asked they she keep it a secret. Anna writes, “Well, our cousin Eddie sure got a swift job done because by my counting things happened right from the start, but after all it is their business…I wish them the best of luck…so that they may find out the happiness with a baby.”
Next up, a few letters to home from Topeka.